Moldova, Onesti, Romania
Claim to Fame
First Olympic Opponent, With A Perfect 10!
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Full Name at Birth
Nadia Elena Comaneci
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Adrian (younger brother)
Profile Bio Text
Nadia Elena Comăneci (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈnadi.a koməˈnet͡ʃʲ]; born November 12, 1961) is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is also the winner of two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics. She is one of the best-known gymnasts in the world. In 2000 Comăneci was named as one of the athletes of the century by the Laureus World Sports Academy.
1 Early life
2 Early gymnastics career
3 Montreal Olympics
5 Post retirement
6 Recent activities
8 Special skills
9 Pop culture references
10 See also
12 External links
Comăneci was born in Onești, Romania, as the daughter of Gheorghe and Ștefania-Alexandrina. Her pregnant mother was watching a Russian film in which the heroine's name was Nadya, the diminutive version of the Russian name Nadezhda (which means "Hope"). She decided that her daughter would be named Nadia, too. Comăneci also has a younger brother named Adrian.
Early gymnastics career
Nadia began gymnastics in kindergarten with a local team called "Flacăra", with coaches Duncan and Munteanu. At age 6 she was chosen to attend Béla Károlyi's experimental gymnastics school after Karolyi spotted her and a friend turning cartwheels in a schoolyard. Nadia was training with the Károlyis by the time she was 7 years old, in 1968. She was one of the first students at the gymnastics school established in Onești by Béla and his wife, Marta. Unlike many of the other students at the Károlyi school, Comăneci was able to commute from home for many years because she lived in the area.
Nadia placed 13th in her first Romanian National Championships in 1969, at the age of just 8. A year later, in 1970, she began competing as a member of her hometown team and became the youngest gymnast ever to win the Romanian Nationals. In 1971, she participated in her first international competition, a dual junior meet between Romania and Yugoslavia, winning her first all-around title and contributing to the team gold. For the next few years, she competed as a junior in numerous national contests in Romania and additional dual meets with nearby countries such as Hungary, Italy and Poland. At the age of 11, in 1973, she won the all-around gold, as well as the vault and uneven bars titles, at the Junior Friendship Tournament (Druzhba), an important meet for junior gymnasts.
Nadia's first major international success came at the age of 13, when she nearly swept the 1975 European Championships in Skien, Norway, winning the all-around and gold medals on every event but the floor exercise, in which she placed second. She continued to enjoy success in other meets in 1975, winning the all-around at the "Champions All" competition and placing first in the all-around, vault, beam, and bars at the Romanian National Championships. In the Pre-Olympic test event in Montreal, Comăneci won the all-around and the balance beam golds, as well as silvers in the vault, floor, and bars behind accomplished Soviet gymnast Nellie Kim, who would prove to be one of her greatest rivals over the next five years.
In March 1976, Comăneci competed in the inaugural edition of the American Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York. She received unprecedented scores of 10.0, which signified a perfect routine without any deductions, on vault in both the preliminary and final rounds of competition and won the all-around. Comăneci also received 10s in other meets in 1976, including the prestigious Chunichi Cup competition in Japan, where she posted perfect marks on the vault and uneven bars.
The international community took note of Comăneci: she was named the United Press International's "Female Athlete of the Year" for 1975.
At the age of 14, Comăneci became one of the stars of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. During the team portion of the competition on July 18, her routine on the uneven bars was scored at a 10.0. It was the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. The scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10.0—so Nadia's perfect marks were reported on the boards as 1.00 instead. Over the course of the Olympics, Comăneci would earn six additional 10s, en route to capturing the all-around, beam, and bars titles and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. The Romanian team also placed second in the team competition.
Comăneci was the first Romanian gymnast to win the all-around title at the Olympics. She also holds the record as the youngest Olympic gymnastics all
Couple Profile Source
Nadia Elena Comăneci (born November 12, 1961) is a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She also won two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. She is one of the best-known gymnasts in the world. In 2000 Comăneci was named as one of the Athletes of the Century by the Laureus World Sports Academy.
Print ads for SWATCH's Olympic Legends commemorative watches. (1996)
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